Gruden finally finds QB he can love

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

METAIRIE, La. -- At long last, Jon Gruden has found the perfect quarterback.

Too bad he's not coaching him, but Gruden heaped praise on New Orleans' Drew Brees on Thursday afternoon. Rich Gannon might have come close at times, but Brad Johnson, Jeff Garcia and the 372 other quarterbacks who passed through Gruden's hands in Tampa Bay never got this many kudos.

"I love him," Gruden said. "I've always been a big fan of his. What you see isn't always the whole picture. What people don't see is Drew Brees behind the scenes. He's on top of things as you can imagine. This is very important to him, every snap, the outcome of every play. He's a great competitor. A fearless guy. A tremendous leader. Couple that with his talent, his instincts and the fact that he's a lot better athlete than people think and you have a superstar quarterback, who probably hasn't gotten the national or global recognition that he deserves, especially after last season."

Gruden is spending a couple of days visiting Saints' camp. Part of it is to prepare for his job as a "Monday Night Football" broadcaster. Part of it is to visit with Saints coach Sean Payton, whom Gruden worked with in Philadelphia. Payton is letting Gruden sit in on meetings and stand on the sidelines during practice.

Gruden said he plans to do the same thing with Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin next week.